When you are involved in an automobile accident, how do you decide where to take your vehicle for repairs?
This is a very important decision because your vehicle is your second biggest investment, and you don’t want to have just any shop do the repairs. The following are a few recommendations we suggest when choosing a collision repair shop:
1. Make sure the shop has a written lifetime warranty; ask to see it and read it.
2. Avoid flat-rate shops. These are shops where the faster the technician works and finishes your car, the more money he makes. (NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST!)
3. Be sure the shop has an independent customer satisfaction survey and ask to see the results. Visit the shop before your car is taken in. Talk to the OWNER and ask questions. They should be courteous and take the time to answer them.
4. Don’t assume that the bigger the shop is the better they are. Smaller shops with owner/operators do not have to juggle as many claims, therefore giving you better personalized service.
5. Choose a shop with the environment in mind. Water-based paints are now in the market, which produce 0% emissions or pollution. They provide better colour matches, and they are more durable and more chip-resistant.
6. Once you have done your homework, you will feel confident and good about the decision you have made. You will have turned a once-negative situation into a positive outcome. Drive Safe!
There are a lot of phrases and terminology that are associated with collision repair estimates. What do they mean and how do they apply to my car?
Without proper knowledge of these phrases and terminology, you would be left in the dark in how your vehicle is repaired. And what you don’t know could cost you!
We will touch on the more important ones, describing what they mean and how they will affect the repair of your vehicle:
A/M – This abbreviation refers to AFTERMARKET PARTS. Aftermarket parts make an attractive cost-saving alternative to original factory parts, and they are made offshore, usually from Japan or China. They are less expensive and there is a large variety for all makes and models. The down side to these parts is that they sometimes do not look or fit as nice as the original factory parts. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for” with aftermarket parts.
OEM – This abbreviation refers to ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER. These are parts made by the manufacturer of the vehicle you drive. These of course are the best replacement part option, but they are priced slightly higher than aftermarket or used parts.
LKQ – This refers to USED PARTS purchased from the auto wrecker. This is also a cost-saving alternative to new parts, but unfortunately there are some disadvantages to used parts as well. Used parts can come in damaged, rusty or incomplete.
R&I – This means the Removal and Install of a specific part. This is common when you have to remove a piece of trim that may be in the way for the repair or paint procedure.
R&R – This means Remove and Replace. If you have a damaged part, you will remove it and replace it with an undamaged part.
Total Loss – This is when the vehicle repair cost exceeds the value of the car.
Deductible – This means the amount of money the owner has to pay to the repair shop when their vehicle’s repair has been completed. This amount is predetermined by your policy.
One or all of these parts could be used on your vehicle when your vehicle is in for collision repair. Depending on your insurance policy, the insurance company has the right to request any or all of these types of parts for your vehicle. If the shop is not satisfied with the fit or look of a certain part, they should contact the insurance company to discuss further options.
We hope this has given you some more insight into reading and understanding the estimate that is prepared for your repair.
NOTE: You should not let a repair facility start a repair on your vehicle unless they have given you a copy of the estimate and explained it.